Multi-functional assessment of soil health under Conservation Agriculture in Cambodia

Pheap Sambo, Lefevre Clara, Thoumazeau Alexis, Leng Vira, Boulakia Stéphane, Koy Ra, Hok Lyda, Lienhard Pascal, Brauman Alain, Tivet Florent. 2019. Multi-functional assessment of soil health under Conservation Agriculture in Cambodia. Soil and Tillage Research, 194:104349, 9 p.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Quartile : Q1, Sujet : SOIL SCIENCE

Abstract : As a response to the worldwide challenge raised by soil degradation, Conservation Agriculture (CA) was proposed to help restoring the three main soil functions, i.e. carbon transformation, nutrient cycling and structure maintenance. However, there is still a lack of integrative studies that assess the overall impact of CA on soil health. To fill the gap, Biofunctool®, a set of in-field indicators, was developed to monitor changes in soil biological functioning. In this study, Biofunctool® was used to assess the impact of a conventional tillage (CT) and three CA annual-based cropping systems on soil health on a Cambodian Oxisol. Eight indicators related to the three soil functions were monitored and integrated into a Soil Quality index (SQI), i.e. the Biofunctool® Index. Overall, we found that soil health was twice higher under the CA treatments than under CT treatment. Although it was similar in the three CA treatments, the contribution of each soil function to the soil health diverged. An analysis of soil carbon dynamics also showed that CA support short-term soil organic carbon stabilization compared to CT. This study demonstrates that Biofunctool® is a robust, relevant, time-and cost-effective in-field assessment tool that can be used in multiple ways including cropping system management, capacity building of local stakeholders, and policy dialogue.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Amélioration des sols, agriculture de conservation, cycle nutriments dans écosystèmes, Structure du sol, Système de culture, Travail du sol conventionnel, Suivi et d’évaluation

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Cambodge

Mots-clés complémentaires : carbone organique du sol

Mots-clés libres : Biofunctool®, Soil health, Cambodia, Conservation agriculture

Classification Agris : P30 - Soil science and management
F08 - Cropping patterns and systems
P34 - Soil biology

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 2 (2019-) - Transitions agroécologiques

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Pheap Sambo, Royal University of Agriculture (KHM)
  • Lefevre Clara, Université de Montpellier (FRA)
  • Thoumazeau Alexis, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR Systèmes de pérennes (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0003-0758-139X
  • Leng Vira, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Cambodge) (KHM)
  • Boulakia Stéphane, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR AIDA (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0003-4331-1207
  • Koy Ra, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Cambodge) (KHM)
  • Hok Lyda, Royal University of Agriculture (KHM)
  • Lienhard Pascal, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR AIDA (FRA)
  • Brauman Alain, IRD (FRA) - auteur correspondant
  • Tivet Florent, CIRAD-PERSYST-UPR AIDA (KHM) - auteur correspondant

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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